I'm finally back home after 4 days in the hospital (and Phred and I are both doing just fine). Despite the negative fFN test on Monday, my contractions started feeling different on Wednesday - I had mostly been feeling the tightening towards the top of my uterus, but Wednesday afternoon they moved down towards the bottom. So I called the doc once again, and went back to Labor and Delivery.
They checked my cervix when I got in there - still long and closed, and had me on the monitors for a few hours. Unfortunately, a second cervical check then showed that I was 50% effaced (which I will continue to wonder about, but...) so we then went into full prevention mode. (Which included another fFN test, which was now positive again. So much for Monday's result!)
First shot of beta methasone Wednesday night (steroid to mature Phred's lungs in case of pre-term delivery), and they started me on magnesium sulfate to try and stop the contractions / prevent the pre-term labor for long enough to give the steroids a chance to work. That was an experience. The magnesium basically completely relaxes all your muscles - every movement became an effort, including focusing my eyes! (All I can say is thank goodness for the catheter I asked them to put in Wednesday night.) I basically spent all of Thursday and the first part of Friday in a stupor. I did have a book on CD that I listened to to pass some of the time. That's about all I could manage. What was interesting was that despite the fact all the rest of my muscles were rubber, I was still contracting like a champ. Fortunately that stopped on Friday morning - finally!
Once the contractions had stopped for a few hours, they felt comfortable taking me off the mag, so around 1pm on Friday they shut that off. By 4 I was feeling worlds better, and got moved down to the antepartum floor. (i.e. the bedrest floor).
There was one more incident - I woke up in the early morning on Saturday with the contractractions back again, 2-3 minutes apart, and more painful than they had been. Fortunately after I went to the bathroom a couple of times (and got rid of a a full liter of fluid), they calmed down pretty quickly. A full bladder definitely seems to exacerbate the contractions at this point.
The next couple of days I got to experience hospital bedrest. It wasn't actually as bad as I was imagining - I had a stack of books, my computer, a fair number of visitors... all passed the time pretty quickly. I finally got to shower again on Saturday morning too, I cannot describe how good that felt! Probably the worst was the nights - even though the bedrest bed was a lot more comfortable than the L&D bed, it still wasn't nearly as nice as my bed at home.
After another cervical check this morning, with still no change, I was allowed to go home again. Boy does it feel nice to be out of that bed! They're not even keeping me on bedrest, I think because I seem to have the contractions whether I'm in bed or not, so doesn't seem to be much point in restricting my activity to that level.
Hopefully this is the last of the drama, and I'll just keep gently contracting for another 6+ weeks. (29w1d today).